To the editor,
There is no question that the Elkin Public Library plays an important role in our community. Everyone in attendance at the Town Board meeting tonight would agree. The Library allows us [in the words of George Washington] “to raise the standard to which the wise and honest can repair.” And in the nearly 50 years of its existence, we continue to reap the benefits bestowed on us by those forward thinking “builders” from Elkin’s past. As we heard in the meeting tonight, those builders thought of the library as a sign of progress and rallied in support of such a fundamentally significant institution. After all, our country’s freedoms, and the value we give to books, go hand in hand. But the library is more than a repository of pages. It represents a place where all citizens can unite around commonly loved things, like the love of learning, of thoughtful discussion, of the importance of family, and of living a virtuous life. Of course progress and growth are as important today as they were in the mid 1960’s. The Town Commissioners have just adopted a plan for Economic Development. Tourism and infrastructure weigh heavily in the plan. But I would ask, “Toward what goal are we progressing?” It is true that providing water lines and police protection to the town are necessary and costly. But true progress does not blindly push aside or leave behind the vision of past leaders. Rather, it keeps hold of them such that those ideals can continue to grow in the hearts and minds of each citizen today and into the future. Something important is at stake here. We need to see the bigger picture. We should look to the future, as those library builders of the past had the courage to do, and we should find a way to support the quality of living, including the Elkin Public Library, that we cherish in this town. As a taxpayer, I would expect no less.
Jane W. Hazelman Theis